A South African National Defence Force (SANDF) soldier who allegedly shot dead his girlfriend and her female friend in Ntuzuma was taken into custody on Thursday evening.
Police spokeswoman Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said that the soldier from 8 South Africa Infantry Battalion in Upington handed himself over to the SANDF soldiers in Inanda, who then took him to the police.
The rifleman was, according to SANDF spokesperson, Brigadier General Mafi Mgobozi, supposed to go on guard duty in Upington on Monday. He drew his weapon – an R4 assault rifle – and then disappeared from his base in Upington.
The following day on Tuesday, he is alleged to have fatally shot his girlfriend and a friend, and wounded a bystander in Ntuzuma, on Durban’s outskirts. A police officer who tried to intervene was also wounded and is recovering in hospital.
An intensive manhunt involving a police task team, crime intelligence and members of the SANDF failed to yield any results.
Mbhele said the soldier contacted his lawyer, who then informed officials that his client would be handing himself in.
Mbhele said the soldier was likely to appear in court on Monday on charges of murder, attempted murder and kidnapping.
She said the R4 with ammunition in the magazine had been recovered.
According to Mbhele the soldier was in civilian clothing when he handed himself in and was uninjured.
– African News Agency